Actions

Work Header

Enemies With Benefits

Chapter Text

 

 

It starts as a feeling, like an itch Erik cannot scratch; a more abject kind of restlessness than Erik is accustomed to given that this one comes with little reprieve or relief. Because the very thing that vexes Erik, that drives him so interminably crazy, is the same thing that he wants most desperately- his fellow mutant leader, and rival: Charles Xavier.

Professor Charles Francis Xavier, to give him his full title, is someone whose very existence has challenged and confounded Erik in equal measure over the past several months. At first it is an irritation borne from afar, prompted by seeing and hearing Charles on the news- talking about the varying mutant causes that seem to take centre stage in society; his charming-bordering-on-smug face grinning out at Erik from television screens and newspaper articles. The pretty boy philanthropist adheres to a very different kind of dogma to Erik, given all his pompous speeches seem to be focused on suggesting that mutants do their best to ensure that they assimilate themselves into polite society nicely, so as not to cause undue offence or concern. Erik cannot disagree more. He has witnessed the damage caused by allowing baseline humans to assume they still possess the power- he has seen enough posters scrawled with the slur ‘mutie scum'. If Charles is the defence then Erik and his Brotherhood are the offence, and Erik knows he will not stand aside and let his kind be cowed by humanity's rules.

For months Erik remains resolute as he offers up objection- providing a more forceful kind of counterattack to Charles, and gradually finding himself becoming very much the poster boy of the mutant revolution, as some people are calling it. All along the way Charles is there, offering thoughtful opposition to Erik whilst discarding some of his harsher points, and slowly their snipes and barbs start to become almost directed at each other, though still through the medium of media. But then Erik and Charles are both invited to take part in the same talkshow- a televised debate about the latest attempt to impose some kind of a mutant registration programme- and their dynamic begins to change. What sparks off from that night becomes a series of events which seem to Erik to unfold without cause or reason, without hope of ceasing, shaping and reforming Erik's life for weeks and then months, until he cannot remember how things were before...

 

****

 

 

 

 

The hotel is far more luxurious than Erik is used to, its opulence and grandeur making clear the substantial budget afforded by the television network who paid for Erik to appear on their panel show- as well as how eager they clearly were for Erik to take part... Of course, even without the favourable fee Erik has been offered he knows he would most likely have attended anyway, and right in front of him is the reason why.

Charles is lying sprawled across the bed, his naked body spread across the expensive cotton sheets, his bare arse marked with handprints as well as Erik's spent come. Erik pauses for a moment as he looks at him, as he draws his eyes slowly across Charles' prone form and considers for a moment returning to him, perhaps nudging Charles onto his back so that Erik can steal a kiss from those plump red lips before he goes, but that has never been part of their dynamic and Erik knows as much. They meet, they exchange bitter blows on whichever television or radio show they have been asked to participate in, and then- even though Erik tells himself more than once that it needs to stop happening- he and Charles wind up in Charles' hotel room as they attempt to release tension by fucking each other senseless. It always works for a little while, Erik always feels better after he has pushed Charles’ smug face into the pillow as slides his cock inside, but as with all things when it comes to Charles the relief never lasts for long.

Erik doesn't know what it is, but as he redresses in his suit once more he finds that the same feeling of agitation is rising within him, untempered even after the admittedly satisfying climax he just experienced. Perhaps it is something Charles is feeling too, because even though they finished some minutes previously he still hasn't moved, and Erik is sure that he's not sleeping.

“Charles...?” Erik says eventually. “Are you alright? I didn't... hurt you, did I?”

It wouldn’t be the first time Erik has been rough with Charles, and in truth Erik cannot remember any encounter that hasn't involved shoving Charles up against his wall or smacking his gloriously round arse or pinning his wrists against the mattress. But there's a first time for everything, and Erik would hate to think that he has allowed himself to go too far in pursuit of pleasure on this occasion. But just as Erik is wondering if he's going to have to actually apologise to Charles for the first time in his life Charles shifts and rolls over, and the sight of him only leaves Erik feeling even more confused.

Charles turns so he is lying on his back on the bed, remaining there for only a moment before he starts to sit upright, his hand reaching down to slowly stroke his cock that is still hard- flushed pink at the tip and wet with pre-come, but nothing else...

“You didn’t come...” Erik says slowly, staring intently at the sight of Charles stroking himself and wishing it wasn't quite so arousing, particularly when Erik is about to leave. “Why didn't you say anything?”

Charles shrugs. “You seemed like you were having a lovely time, and I didn't want to distract you”.

“You should have said something...” Erik growls. “I would have stopped if you weren't enjoying yourself”.

“Now, now...” Charles replies, a playful smile starting to spread across his face. “Don't go nursing your fragile ego just yet- I didn't say that I wasn't enjoying myself. The sex was exemplary, as it always is, I just wasn't quite ready for it to be over”.

Charles pauses, lowering his eyes as he slowly begins to draw the fingertips of his other hand up his stomach and chest, before pinching one erect nipple between his thumb and forefinger.

“Of course, you could stay and help finish me off if you'd like...” Charles murmurs, the line of his lashes dark against his freckled cheek.

Erik swallows hard as he stares at Charles, because even though he's just had him he finds that he still wants him. Charles is very much a vision of temptation as he sits there touching himself, drawing his fist leisurely up and down his shaft, prompting arousal to pool in the pit of Erik's stomach once more. But this is not the way things are between them- they do not hang around for second helpings- and the fact that Charles is trying to alter the routine now only makes Erik feel irritated above anything else.

“You should have said something”, Erik repeats sternly, glaring at Charles before he turns and moves to retrieve his jacket from where it was thrown over a chair earlier.

Erik redresses quickly, pulling on his jacket in swift motions that probably make it clear how annoyed he is, and the aggravation only increases as Erik hears a soft chuckle of laughter coming from the bed. Instantly Erik turns to face Charles once more, being met by a look of disbelief that only raises Erik's hackles further.

“You're angry at me because I didn’t come??” Charles asks incredulously.

Though Erik could maybe attempt to downplay his reaction the scowl on his face says it all.

“It's just... rude”, Erik replies eventually.

Charles laughs again, and Erik decides he has had enough of this particular encounter. And so he abruptly turns and walks over towards the door, taking determined strides and ignoring the fact that he can still see Charles' naked body just in his periphery.

“Alright, I promise I'll wank myself off quicker next time!” Charles calls out as Erik leaves.

The response is one that Erik has said more than once, both aloud and to himself, but this time he knows he means it- that he has to maintain his conviction once and for all.

“There won't be a next time”, Erik mutters, before exiting the room and closing the door firmly behind himself.

 

Every time Erik leaves Charles he wishes for the same thing- that he could just shut the door of whatever hotel room they are in and suddenly be done with Charles, their involvement, the whole stupid, sorry situation. But as Erik strides quickly through darkened streets, shoulders hunched and the collar of his jacket turned up against the inclement weather, he knows that such hopes are foolish. Around Erik rain pours down in an almost continual stream, swamping the roads and pavements and casting the entire scene in a strange kind of glow as light reflects from streetlamps and headlights. The weather does little to improve Erik's mood, and he knows if he doesn’t get a strong drink inside himself soon he'll be positively murderous.

It’s perhaps for that reason why there are more than a few alarmed glances thrown in Erik’s direction as he enters the nearby bar, running one hand back through his now soaked hair as he casts his eyes over the scene. But if it's not the lethal look on Erik's face that causes more than a few patrons to react with alarm, some going as far as to hastily down their drinks before starting to leave, Erik knows their response likely down to one other factor.

Over the past several months Erik has become accustomed to people recognising his face- identifying him as the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants; a powerful coalition that campaigns for the rights of mutated individuals and is uncompromising about the methods used to attain such freedoms. Erik's formidable reputation alone is enough to mean that he is often subjected to a number of varying responses- from awe and admiration that comes from his fellow mutants, to fear and even vicious hatred directed at him by the last vestiges of a redundant race: humanity. But though Erik sometimes wishes he could return to a simpler time, when very few people even knew his name, he knows deep down that he would not change a thing. It's crucial that the liberties and opportunities of mutants are protected, and it that means a few snide looks cast in Erik's direction whenever he ventures into a public place then so be it.

With that in mind Erik spares little thought for his surroundings as he advances further into the room, handing his coat to a waiting staff member before he begins to head towards a small seating area located in the furthest corner. Along the way Erik stops at the bar to order himself the large drink he's been craving for the past half hour or more, and then with his glass in hand he walks over to the nearby table, and the person waiting for him there...

“You’re late...”

The voice that speaks to Erik comes courtesy of an impeccably-dressed blonde woman who is sitting facing the wall, her head inclined slightly in Erik's direction as she lifts her martini glass to her lips, taking a small sip. Instantly Erik can't help but scowl in response to being berated, even though he knows there's no real malice in it, and the sour look on his face remains as he takes a seat at the table.

“I was busy”, Erik huffs. “Not all of us have the luxury of spending our days sitting around schmoozing wealthy investors, Emma- some of us have to put in rather more grunt work”.

“Ah yes, of course...” Emma replies, smiling at Erik slyly. “And speaking of grunting, how is our favourite pint-sized professor these days?”

Erik's scowl deepens. “Don't start...” he mutters.

The expression on Emma's face suggests she has only just begun to have her fun with Erik, which comes as no real surprise. Though Emma may be Erik's oldest friend and biggest supporter she is also the person most likely to give him a hard time, particularly when it comes to the information she alone is privy to regarding the nature of involvement between Erik and his supposed enemy.

“You're always like this after you've seen him”, Emma says, shooting Erik a pointed look. “I thought screwing Xavier was supposed to make you less grumpy, not more so”.

“It's not supposed to make me anything. It’s not supposed to happen at all...”

“And yet, every time we attend one of these fun little conferences you end up balls deep in the professor and I end up drinking alone... Really, Erik- I'm starting to think the Brotherhood was just created as a front so you could meet eligible young bachelors, albeit slightly pompous ones who look like they're one ill-advised cardigan away from being put in a retirement home... But perhaps I'm just being overly judgemental. After all, there are clearly lots of people who think your secret sex pet is someone to be drooled over...”

Erik’s hands tremor with the urge to act as he contemplates using his powers to yank Emma's chair out from underneath her, in spite of the scene it would undoubtedly cause, but then Emma reaches into the small clutch handbag that is placed on the table beside her drink and retrieves her phone, and when she turns on the device and shows it to Erik he finds himself faltering.

There, displayed on the screen of Emma's phone, is a small article from whatever trashy website Emma has been frequenting- a gossip piece that features several photographs of Charles at what appears to be a sex club, talking to a pretty dark-haired girl. The pictures themselves would be inflammatory enough as they are, but the thing that really gives the article its journalistic weight is the rather sensationalist headline that is emblazoned above it that says simply: ‘PROFESSOR SEX!' Instantly Erik's jaw begins to clench as he stares at the header and accompanying captions, as he gazes intently at the image of Charles smiling widely as he talks to the girl, because although Erik has observed Charles in photographs more times than he can count, this time is noticeably different.

Over the past several months Erik has frequently seen himself and Charles in numerous media guises- most commonly spread across newspaper articles or featured on various television shows. At first the media attention seemed to be focused exclusively on the work Charles and his X-Men or Erik and his Brotherhood were trying to achieve, resulting in thoughtful, involved pieces which detailed their opposing viewpoints as well as the things they have in common. Increasingly though it seems like public appetite is unable to be sated by fact alone, and consequently Erik finds that more and more he is being subjected to idle rumour and speculation- the likes of which he does not appreciate... Erik has always been a very private person and as such he does not welcome outsiders prodding into his personal life, particularly when there are so many things Erik wishes to keep secret- the least of which is his involvement with Charles. But where Erik has always been a rather reserved individual Charles is decidedly less so, and perhaps that's a blessing in itself because there are many occasions on which Charles has proven himself to be a rather useful diversion.

Of course, that's not to say that Erik is always so pleased about Charles’ tendency to make somewhat of a spectacle of himself... For every moment where Erik has been relieved as Charles has stepped up and commanded attention for himself, and thereby shielded Erik from it, there is another where Erik has wished that Charles could perhaps be a little bit quieter, a little bit more thoughtful. Though Charles is undoubtedly the smartest person Erik has ever met he can also be rather forthright when it comes to the conviction of his beliefs and how he communicates them, and that kind of arrogance is not always appreciated by everyone. And then there are times like this- when Charles will just go ahead and do something without thinking too much about it, resulting in a field day for the journalists and a headache for Erik...

“I still don't understand why in Gott's name you read that mindless drivel...” Erik mutters, still staring at Charles’ smiling face in the photographs. “It's all complete bullshit anyway”.

Emma shrugs nonchalantly. “Oh, I don't know- there was that one article that claimed I once mindzapped someone into cutting their own dick off because they annoyed me. I rather liked that one”.

“Besides...” Emma adds, her expression somewhat devious as she removes the phone from Erik's sight and slides it back inside her bag once more. “I think we both know you’re only peeved with my choice of reading material on this occasion because you don't like seeing pictures of Xavier flirting with attractive young women”.

“Of course I don’t like it”, Erik snaps. “That dummkopf is making a complete fool of himself- of both of us. We're supposed to be leading the discussion on mutant issues, paving the way for the natural supremacy of our kind, but instead he's getting drunk and hitting on girls in bars. It's completely irresponsible, not to mention unseemly”.

“Mm-hmm... And I suppose I'm to believe your reaction has nothing at all to do with jealousy?”

“I don't really give a fuck what you believe, Emma...”

“Ow...” Emma replies, placing one hand over her heart as if she's just been wounded. “Sugar, I'm hurt. And after all we've been through”.

Though Emma’s words are playful, as her demeanour towards Erik almost always is, Erik knows her well enough to recognise when she is saying something that borders on the truth. And it is true, after all- they have been through so much together, and as such Erik knows he shouldn't really discount Emma's opinions so easily.

“Sorry...” Erik mutters after a moment, lifting his glass to his lips once more and taking a long drink, as if he hopes to hide the word within his actions. Nevertheless it registers, and there is an evident easing of Emma's expression as she watches Erik.

“You don't have to be so defensive with me, you know...” Emma says gently. “I only want what's best for you, and I certainly wouldn't like to see you cut yourself off from the possibility of something you might want just because you think you don't deserve it”.

“And what is it you think I want, exactly?”

“Hmm, hard to say... You're difficult to read, even for a telepath such as myself. Sometimes I'm not sure you even know what you want. All I'm saying is there has to be a reason you keep going back to the Professor, besides the fact that he's got, oh- how did you describe it? ‘The best ass in North America and a mouth like a hoover'?”

Inwardly Erik groans, but he can't supress the small smile that slowly starts to spread across his face.

“I never should have told you that...” Erik replies.

“Oh, but I'm glad you did”, Emma responds with a wink. “Believe me, it gets very boring organising your schedule so you can focus on taking over the world. Sometimes I need a few scintillating thoughts to get me through each day, and the idea of you and Xavier hate-fucking does just fine”.

“We really need to get you a hobby... Or maybe a boyfriend...”

“Perhaps next week. And don't change the subject- we're talking about you here, and your non-boyfriend. Look, I know I keep going on about this but maybe if you explain it to me I'll be able to understand. You say you despise him, and yet every opportunity you get you're fucking his brains out. Why?”

It's a question Erik has pondered himself more than once, yet try as he might he can't seem to come to any conclusive answer. All he knows is that, whilst he may disagree with Charles’ moral standing, his sensibilities, his ideas for the future, and sometimes just his fucking wardrobe, for some reason he keeps going back for more. Possibly because, above all else, it just feels really fucking good.

“Maybe I'm just trying to fuck some sense into him”, Erik replies with a slight shrug.

“Ha. A likely story. But unless your semen contains some spectacularly high levels of vitamin B9 to boost his brain power I don’t think that's going to work... To be honest, Erik- it really doesn't matter why you're doing it, just as long as you're being careful”.

“Well we use condoms...”

Emma shakes her head. “I'm not talking about that. I'm talking about you protecting yourself- in all manners of speaking. I know the public image you present is one of someone harsh and uncompromising, someone with no fragility or perceivable weakness, but more than anyone else I know that it's just a front. Because I look at you and still see that same fourteen-year-old boy I met all those years ago- the sweet, kind mutant who helped me, and who later saved me from Sh--”

“Don't”, Erik interrupts, the word coming out harsh and jarring. Emma flinches slightly in response, but as always with Emma the effect is only there for a briefly before it disappears, like something perceivable slipping beneath frozen waters. For a moment Emma continues to stare at Erik, fragments of emotion passing over her face before they are each set aside, one by one. But then she leans forward, placing the palm of her hand down on the table next to Erik's clenched fist- close, but not quite touching; a gesture of support that communicates more than contact alone because she knows the absence of such is what Erik really needs.

“It'll be over soon...” Emma says carefully. “The trial is only a matter of weeks away and then once it’s done with we can forget all about-- about what happened. We can finally move on”.

Erik nods quietly. “I know, just... don't. And don't worry about me either- in regards to Charles or anything else. I appreciate you looking out for me but I can take care of myself”.

“I'll remember you said that...”

The expression on Emma's face suggests that she disagrees but she is tactful enough not to say anything, and so she simply leans back in her chair once more as she reaches for her drink.

“So...” Emma says, raising her eyebrows at Erik. “Why don't you tell me more about the part of your day that didn't involve mindless sex...”

 

Talking to Emma, or more often listening to her, has always been easy, and consequently Erik is unsurprised to find the time passing quickly as they remain in the bar, exchanging amiable conversation and consuming more than a few drinks. Once Erik is able to get Emma off the subject of Charles and his tremendous thighs (a diversion of topic which seems to come from nowhere) they begin to discuss the various matters most pertinent to their meeting, most of which involve future plans for the Brotherhood.

There are a number of issues looming on the horizon that Erik is keen to address- everything from the proposed government plan to initiate mandatory testing of the ‘x-gene', to the recent troubling rumours of mutant experimentation taking place in Canada- and it is encouraging to be able to discuss things at length with Emma. She has always been Erik's most trusted advisor, not least because her telepathy enables her to perceive things Erik cannot, but because deep down Erik realises it's more than that. Erik has known Emma since they were little more than children, they have gone through unimaginable things together, and as such there is no one better placed to be at Erik's side as they both work towards their mutual goal of mutant equality, or perhaps supremacy...

Once the meeting is concluded Erik bids Emma goodnight, before commencing the short walk back to the modest accommodation in which he will be staying for the evening- a refuge and respite of his own design.

All across the country there are a number of small hostels which provide shelter for mutants who have been driven out by their families, established by the Brotherhood in the years before their existence became notorious and funded by various means- both unscrupulous and less so... Erik has always taken great pride in the refuge he is able to offer to his mutant brothers and sisters- a more accessible kind of assistance than Charles and his elitist school, which as far as Erik knows only offers admission to mutants who meet certain criteria. It is yet another area of conflict between Charles and Erik, something that makes them seem worlds apart, and ultimately keeps Erik from thinking that Charles is ever someone he could regard as anything more than just a casual fuck.

Still, as Erik heads briskly through dark streets still drowned in a deluge of rainwater, he finds that thoughts of Charles remain close by, as always. Though the most logical part of Erik’s brain gives him reason upon reason why this maddening, compelling thing with his mortal enemy needs to cease, nevertheless there is something that counters his every conclusion; more whim than wisdom. Charles is wrong for Erik in every way- Erik is almost sure of it- and yet somehow since the fateful day this whole damn thing started it has seemed like there is some constant force which keeps bringing them together, no matter how much Erik tries to fight it.

The weather is still unpleasant as Erik walks so he pulls his jacket tighter around his body, attempting to dispel the cool evening air as in his mind he is--

Standing on the rooftop of the TV network building months ago, smoking, scowling as Charles joins him- a smile ever-present on his self-righteous face. It is the first time they've met in person and already Erik cannot stand him, cannot abide Charles’ gentle voice and the way he acts like he knows everything. But without explanation, without thought or reason of any kind, a short while later Charles is on his knees in front of Erik, Erik's hand tightly fisting in Charles’ hair as he wilfully fucks his mouth.

Part of Erik feels like he should have taken Emma up on her offer to stay with her at a nearby hotel, particularly as the location would have been closer, but a hotel stay would have meant proximity to Charles and that cannot happen because then Erik might end up--

Standing and staring at Charles where he sits on the edge of his hotel bed, naked except for his thin white underwear, his hand palming at his evidently hard cock as he gazes up at Erik and teases him, as he says he would let Erik do anything. “Tell me what you want to do to me...” Charles murmurs- a request from someone who Erik once thought would only ever take. “I want to fuck you”, Erik replies. “Your mouth and then your ass”. Charles shivers. Erik almost comes just from the expression on his face alone.

When Erik reaches the mutant hostel there are very few people in sight, but a quiet din coming from further down the corridor hints at some activity. It makes Erik think of Charles and how he always seems so composed at first, so quiet and thoughtful, until you give him the opportunity and then he is--

Cutting through Erik's arguments with verbal asides, eviscerating whichever bigoted human the producers have chosen to oppose them both by using logic and informed opinion, prompting outrage and arousal to wash over Erik in equal waves as he tries to decide whether he wants to fuck Charles or fight him. Every time they end up doing both- grabbing at each other the second they are inside Charles’ hotel room, often continuing any earlier disagreement as clothing is torn off and bodies are marked and bitten. Erik finds that Charles always looks best when he his pale skin has been reddened by Erik's hands or mouth, and it’s always enjoyable to cease Charles' endless words just by kissing him forcefully.

Contemplation of joining whichever mutants are gathered in the common room holds little interest, and so Erik quickly heads towards the room upstairs which he knows has already been set aside for himself, craving privacy as he thinks about--

The first time Erik lets Charles fuck him, the small huff of Charles’ breath on the back of Erik's neck, his arms wrapped around Erik's body like he cannot bear to let go. The pain blurring into pleasure as Charles rolls his hips, his hands smoothing over Erik's body. The moment after Charles has climaxed when he lies there, still and sated, before immediately insisting that Erik roll over so he can suck Erik's cock. The finest orgasm of Erik’s life as he comes still feeling the stretch from having Charles’ cock inside him, and thinking of how the association of residual ownership is one he does not abhor. The memory that lingers and how, even now, Erik will never admit to himself that he loves being fucked by Charles almost as much as fucking him.

Erik lets himself into his room by use of his powers, not even bothering to flick on the light switch as he wanders over to the bed and unceremoniously dumps himself down on top of it. The space around Erik is bare and basic, reminding Erik in no way of--

Every hotel room they have been in over the last few months, every time they have fucked and argued and fucked some more, until Erik has inevitably left like the coward he knows he is. Every time Erik has drawn his hands slowly over Charles’ naked body, absorbing the feel and weight of him, and knowing he will never touch anything so pure and so good ever again. The expression on Charles’ face when he comes- something Erik has only ever seen occasionally when he has looked up as he is sucking Charles off, given they never fuck face-to-face so Erik has never seen him otherwise. The way Charles moans Erik's name in the moments afterwards, in soft murmurs that almost sound like worship. The way Erik can’t stop thinking about Charles, wondering how it is possible to still want him when he already has him.

For a moment Erik lies there on the bed, unable to comprehend the complexity of his own life, and how such unreasonable fate has made it so that the very thing he resents is also the thing he wants most of all. Because Erik does want Charles, in spite of all the reasons he shouldn’t. It is more than just some basic need to satisfy primal lust by fucking him senseless- that much is clear now. Erik hates Charles, but he wants him, and consequently in some ways it is like he doesn't really hate him at all.

 

When Erik finally finds he is ready to move once more it is some time later- the passing of the hour signified by the lessening of the noise downstairs, accompanied by the occasional muffled sound of doors shutting. Above Erik the glow from nearby streetlamps casts shadows across the ceiling, fractured light broken up by dark shapes that appear to compete with each other for dominance, leaving Erik wondering which is likely to ultimately triumph. Within himself the internal conflict is mirrored, manifesting in the moments when Erik will turn his head towards the door and think briefly about leaving, about seeking out Charles, but like always Erik remains in place, where it is safer and darker.

Eventually Erik manages to prise himself from the mattress, but only to go as far as the small holdall that he stashed in the room earlier, inside of which is a change of clothes along with a small amount of toiletries. After paying a brief visit to the nearby bathroom Erik sheds his outer layers of clothing for the evening, slipping into bed wearing only a pair of boxer shorts and immediately drawing the sheets up all the way to his chest, attempting to combat the chill that lingers even indoors. Erik has never been a very good sleeper- an aftereffect of events in his late childhood- and consequently he finds he is unable to do little more than lie there for a while, not managing to even will himself unconscious. Of course, when Erik's mind is given idle time there are a few significant places it heads to almost immediately, and consequently it isn't long before Erik is lifting one hand and gesturing pointedly, using his powers to retrieve his phone from where he left it in his jacket pocket earlier.

There are many things Erik's phone contains- notable contacts, events catalogued neatly in his calendar; all simple, innocuous commodities that no one would raise an eyebrow at. And then there is something else entirely...

When Erik first started taking an interest in Charles- politically speaking- he found himself compulsively cataloguing intelligence on his new nemesis; articles and photographs and video links saved on Erik's phone that he would revisit numerous times as he allowed the detail contained within to irritate and infuriate him. After Erik first met Charles in person he continued to compile information to peruse later, only now it is media of an entirely different kind.

Now, the small device Erik keeps with him at all times is abundant with images of Charles spread naked across various hotel mattresses, his face soft and lit with joyful exuberance as he smiles coyly, like he knows how much Erik adores the sight of him. It is stocked with videos of Charles on his knees as Erik fucks his willing mouth, or lying on his front with Erik's cock buried deep in his ass. It is littered with photographs and recordings of Charles in so many forms and guises, all of them taken by Erik and permitted by Charles since the very first night they slept together, as if Charles knows that Erik would never use them for any disloyal means- or perhaps that he could stop Erik if he tried.

More than once Erik has contemplated why he would choose to retain such images of Charles, particularly if it’s true he never intends to use them to blackmail Charles in any way, and the only conclusion Erik is comfortable reaching is the most obvious- that it's sexually gratifying. Though the nature of Erik's involvement with Charles has always been confounding and confusing to say the least it’s true that the sex has consistently been incredible, and though Erik sometimes wishes it wasn't as it would make things a damn sight easier, when it is late at night and he cannot sleep he is content to just give in to what he wants, just for a little while.

And so, as Erik sits up in bed he grasps the phone from the air and quickly unlocks it, already considering which of his many files he wishes to view in order to sate his growing need. As it happens though the answer all but presents itself, rather unexpectedly, because as the screen comes into view it is partially obscured by a small message that tells Erik something surprising- that he has been sent an attachment from Charles himself, if the small picture next to the unknown contact is anything to go by. Erik's brows draw together in a frown as he clicks to open the message, because in all the time they have known each other Erik and Charles have never communicated like this, and in truth Erik wasn't even sure Charles had his number. But there on the screen is confirmation nonetheless, and it is with a certain growing curiosity that Erik watches as the attachment opens, until he is provided with a view of something that immediately makes his mouth dry.

Erik freezes in place on the bed, eyes widening and arousal deepening as he stares at the screen- at an instantly recognisable torso covered in light brown freckles, at a flushed pink cock grasped in one slender hand. As Erik watches the hand begins to move, thumb swiping through the pre-come gathered at the head, fist drawing leisurely up and down the shaft as the subject draws in a shuddering breath, his chest rising and falling reflexively. It's intoxicating in a way that's somehow new and exciting, because although Erik has seen Charles naked numerous times he has never seen him quite like this- lost in self-indulgent abandon as he strokes his cock leisurely, intermittent moans escaping his lips. Erik is unsurprised to realise that his own member has grown achingly hard in response, his senses overcome by an intense desire to have Charles, to possess him entirely, but all Erik can do is watch, captivated by the sight before himself, unable to suppress the tremor that runs through his body as he watches Charles climax and knows in his heart that it is simply the most beautiful thing he is ever likely to see.

In the moments afterwards it should be easier, the feelings of need and desire in Erik should decrease, but there is something that makes them linger for longer than Erik would like. After Charles has finished coming, the shivery tremors in his body lessening, the view tilts up slightly towards his face allowing Erik to see the gorgeous grin that adorns it. To Erik's recollection Charles always smiles after sex, as if he is so sated he cannot help but bask in it, and this occasion is no different as he smiles widely at the camera, rather like he knows Erik will be unable to look away. And then there is the thing that affects Erik most significantly of all- when the smile fades, becomes something soft and sincere, and in the moments before the video ends Charles shifts closer to the camera, his hair falling across his forehead as he whispers gently: “You should have stayed, Erik...”

The video ends and Erik is left sitting there, staring mutely at the phone in his hand as his sizeable erection continues to distort his underwear considerably. If Erik weren't already committed to the idea of ending the night by stroking himself to memories of Charles the message has sealed the deal, but equally there is another idea that slowly begins to simmer under the surface of Erik's thoughts- the contemplation that he might instead choose to reply to Charles' message, to ask him if he's still at the hotel and arrange to meet him. During all of their previous rendezvous Erik and Charles have never met by any pre-determined means, instead simply allowing the heat and tension of their earlier debates to bring them together as if they are compelled to do so. To break habit now would be a real departure from the norm, and though Erik is still hesitant because he has no way of knowing what road this might ultimately lead them down, the one thing he does know is that it's what he really, truly wants. But then in the next few seconds another message pops up on Erik's phone, and he is reminded that life has a habit of denying his desires.

This time it is not Charles who disrupts Erik's evening, it is Emma. Her name appears on the screen and when Erik clicks on her message he finds that he has been sent another attachment, but this one is nowhere near as welcome as the last- not least because it is prefaced by the words: ‘Tell your non-boyfriend he's a real asshole!’ Heart sinking, Erik clicks on the accompanying image and watches as it fills the screen, and then- for the first time this evening- Erik knows for sure that he and Charles can never be together in any way other than carnal, and maybe not even like that anymore.

Over the past several months there have been rumblings in the press about a new mutant research project headed up by Trask Industries, something Erik has vehemently opposed from the start given every member of the company is both completely and utterly human and shady as fuck. Disapproval of the venture is one of the few topics Erik and Charles actually agree on, providing Erik with at least some small hope that Charles is not such a lost cause after all, but as Erik stares at the picture on his phone he realises that maybe Charles has actually been less than honest when it comes to his true agenda. Because the image is a screenshot taken from a news article- a short piece detailing the latest developments with the Trask project- and though there are numerous elements that Erik is undoubtedly going to want to look into later there is one that interests him most of all, and infuriates him equally... The news that Trask Industries have been the recent beneficiaries of a substantial investment, courtesy of one Charles Francis Xavier.

In the minutes after Erik has absorbed the news he recalls the video Charles sent him earlier, remembers Charles’ wide, giddy grin after he climaxed, and knows now that the expression was made to mock and nothing else. It is clear now what this is to Charles, what it has always been- a way for Charles to control and manipulate Erik; placating him with sex so that Erik cannot oppose him so vigorously. All the moments they have shared together have always been nothing more than some stupid kind of game- a way to make Erik's interactions with Charles more palatable, because it is evident now more than ever that nothing Erik has ever said to Charles has had any kind of impact.

It's infuriating, but the ire Erik feels in that moment is not just directed at Charles, though it certainly has its place. Most of all Erik is angry at himself- at his lack of conviction, at his many failings, and at his own weak heart. Because Erik has allowed himself to be controlled by someone who should hold no power over him, and that is something Erik swore to himself would never happen again.

When Erik finally settles down to sleep that night he does so with a heavy heart, anger and sadness washing over him in equal measure as he turns his face into the pillow, seeking comfort but finding nothing of the kind. Who knows how long it will be until Erik is next forced into close contact with Charles at whatever debate they undoubtedly attend, all Erik can be sure of now is one thing and one thing only; the same mantra he repeats to himself over and over again until he finally slips into a restless sleep:

“This has got to stop...”